You’d be hard-pressed to find a Disney food and wine event that we’d turn down.
And no, we’re not talking about the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, either. We’re actually talking about a nearby event at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin! These hotels hosted several specialty food and beverage events recently and we were invited to stop by to review one!
The Swan and Dolphin Resort typically hosts the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic. For the last year, however, the event has been replaced by a number of mini food events like the Food & Wine Classic: Limited Edition.
The Food & Wine Classic will be returning later this year, but for now, we’re holding ourselves over by hanging out at another Swan and Dolphin event: Food & Wine Classic: A Taste of Swan & Dolphin.
Two of these events were hosted, one in mid-January and one just a few days ago (that’s the one we attended!). Each event offered 10 food stations from the resort’s restaurants and more than 50 beverages at 22 beverage stations. Yeah…it was pretty cool.
Events-only tickets to these events ran $110 per person, but one-night room packages were available starting at $359 per night (including two tickets to the event). All of your food and drinks are included in the ticket price. We had a wonderful time at the Sip, Savor, & Stay Saturday events last year, so we’re pretty excited to review this option.
Arrival and Set-up
Just like the last time we attended one of these events, we were directed to a ballroom where we would be hosted. This time, the event was set up in one of the Dolphin Ballrooms.
We were given a paper copy of the menu to help us keep track of all of the eats and sips.
The back showed every food item that would be available and what Swan & Dolphin restaurant would be serving them.
The inside of the pamphlet featured beverage listings, and there was even a spot for us to jot down tasting notes!
As a note, this event was sold out. It was certainly much more crowded than the prior event we reviewed here.
However, our reporter noted feeling comfortable with the health measures and ability to social distance.
The ballroom was set up fairly similar to last time with distanced tables and food and beverage stations scattered around the room.
A stage also featured a live band and a DJ for the duration of the event, which we thought was a nice touch.
For the health and safety of guests and workers, all of the stations were equipped with plexiglass.
But enough about the space, let’s talk about the FOOD! Remember, for this event, all of the food stations represent a dining option at Swan & Dolphin.
We’ll take you through the food we snagged in the menu order. Be warned! There was a LOT of it!
From Shula’s Steak House, we got to try the Surf and Turf, made with Roasted Linz Heritage Angus Prime Strip Loin, Marinated Shrimp, Creamed Spinach, and Sauce Foyot. The steak was a perfect medium-rare and the shrimp had a lot of flavor.
Next, we’re giving the Smoked Angus Beef Brisket Plate from Smokin’ D’s BBQ a try. This plate is Sliced Smoked Beef Brisket, Shaved Sweet Onion, Saltine Crackers, Toasted Garlic Bread, and House Barbeque Sauces.
We love a good chance to snag a bunch of different barbecue sauces!
Mooooving on, it’s time we try out the Smoked Fish Cake, a Seared Smoked Fish Cake with Sauce Ravigote, Bitter Greens, Crispy Brioche, Lemon, and Olive Oil. This eat comes from Todd English’s bluezoo.
This one is one of our FAVORITE dishes we had at the event. Check out Cabana Bar and Beach Club’s Dynamite Shrimp Bowl with Crispy Fried Shrimp, Seasoned Sushi Rice, Tempura Crumble, and Spicy Dynamite Sauce. We actually got this eat multiple times. The rice was amazing and the shrimp had a great crunch.
How do you feel about some street corn? Frida’s Kitchen brought us Elote, a Grilled Sweet Corn with Chile Powder, Mayonnaise, Cotija Cheese, Green Onion, Lime.
We L-O-V-E Il Mulino New York Trattoria, the Italian Restaurant at the Swan & Dolphin. So, we were pretty pumped to taste the Bucatini Amatriciana made with House Made Semolina Bucatini Pasta, Guanciale, Garlic, Onion, Calabrian Chiles, Tomato, and Basil.
Hungry yet? Kimonos brought us Karaage Chicken. That’s Japanese Style Fried Chicken, Soy and Bonito Marinated, Toasted Furikake and Sesame, Tamari Ginger Emulsion, and Shiso.
There was even an item on the menu from the unopened Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Hotel! This choice was the Manti Dumpling, a Bahrat Spiced Lamb Filled Manti Style Dumpling with Aleppo Pepper Spiked Tomato Sauce and Yogurt Sauce.
We asked the chef if these dumplings could be taken as a preview for what’s to come at the new resort, but sadly they said it can’t. The menus are still in the works over at the new accommodation!
We’ve got another favorite! How could we not love Carnival Corner’s Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich with Muenster Cheese, Toasted Sandwich Bread, and Johnstown Mayo?
This eat was PERFECT with the drinks we were having.
And finally, dessert options came from Chef Laurent Branlard. Options included the Strawberry Sundae (Vanilla Strawberry Confit Ice Cream, Strawberry Compote, Angel Food Cake, and Strawberry Whipped Ganache)…
…the Yuzu Cream Filled Chocolate Cup Cake with Fresh Raspberries…
…the Blueberry & Philly Cream Cheese Dome…
…and the Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Cake.
The Strawberry Sundae was our favorite as it was light and perfect, provided a nice variety from the other desserts, and was sweet without being too heavy.
Aaaaand how did we wash it all down?
Well, with over 50 drinks, we’re sad to say we weren’t able to try them all. It WAS fun to try out all of the different wines to see how they paired with our food.
But for us, the real winners were the beers! One thing we love about EPCOT is the beer variety, and we were happy to see that this event achieved the same energy.
It’s fun to try new craft beers and events like this give a great opportunity to do so.
Whether you’re a wine drinker or a beer drinker, 50 options mean you’d probably be able to find something you’d like.
All in all, this Swan and Dolphin event was just as much fun as it was the last time! We certainly miss the big Food & Wine Classic, but in the meantime, these limited events are certainly a BLAST!
We ate a LOT because their food is so spectacular. Seriously, we’ve super pleasantly surprised with all of the great food that we’ve seen at these Swan and Dolphin events. On top of that, we loved the bonus of the drink options and the live music.
At this time, there is only one limited event coming up with the Spring Food & Wine Classic limited event on April 17th. This event will feature many of the same booths as this one and MORE. Tickets are on sale now for $125 per person for event-only tickets.
If that event is going to be anything like this one, we can whole-heartedly recommend it. The price is reasonable and the event itself is a foodie’s dream. PLUS, room packages make the event and a night at the hotel fairly economical. We’d do this kind of event again in a heartbeat.
The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin really know what they’re doing when it comes to these little foodie events. We had a WONDERFUL evening where we felt safe and satisfied. Hopefully, this helps you find a fun new activity for your Disney trip! As always, keep an eye on DFB for the latest Disney reviews!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Would you head to one of these events? Tell us in the comments!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by the Swan and Dolphin to attend their event. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ